patience in the heart of chaos



A sage is subtle,

intuitive, penetrating, profound. 

His depths are mysterious and



The best one can do is

describe his appearance: the sage

is alert as a person crossing a winter stream; as

circumspect as a person with neighbors on all four sides; 

as respectful as a thoughtful guest; as yielding as

melting ice; as simple as uncarved wood; 

as open as a valley; as chaotic

as a muddy torrent. 


Why “chaotic

as a muddy torrent”? 

Because clarity is learned by

being patient  in the

heart of chaos. 



disarray, remaining at rest, 

gradually one learns to allow muddy water to

settle and proper responses to reveal themselves. 

Those who aspire to tao don’t long for fulfillment. 

They selflessly allow tao to use and deplete

them; they calmly allow tao to renew

and complete them. 


The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 15


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nothing is excluded

not even one thought


For the unified mind

in accord with the Way all

self-centered striving ceases.

Doubts and irresolutions vanish

and life in true faith

is possible.


With a single stroke

we are freed from bondage:

nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.

All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of

the mind’s power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge

and imagination are of no value. In this world

of suchness there is neither self

nor other-than-self.


To come directly

into harmony with this reality

just say when doubt rises “not two”.

In this “not two” nothing is

separate, nothing is



Seng T’san


where the practice really begins

meditate within eternity


As you

continue to practise,

please understand: there is

nothing to worry about. Establish

this feeling of being relaxed and unworried,

securely, in the mind. Once the mind is concentrated

and one-pointed, no mind-object will be able to penetrate

or disturb it, and you will be able to sit in the meditation

posture for as long as you want. You will also

be able to sustain concentration without

any feelings of pain and




developed samadhi

to this level, you will be able

to enter or leave it at will. When you

leave it, it will be at your convenience.

You simply withdraw at your ease, rather

than because you are feeling lazy or tired.

You withdraw from samadhi because

it is the appropriate time to

withdraw from it, and you

come out of it at

your will.


You enter

and leave this samadhi

without any problems. The mind

and heart are at ease. If you genuinely have

samadhi like this, it means that sitting meditation

and entering samadhi for just thirty minutes or an hour

will enable you to remain cool and peaceful for many days

afterwards. Experiencing the effects of samadhi like this

for several days has a purifying effect on the mind.

Whatever you experience will become an object

for contemplation. This is where

the practice really begins. It is

the  fruit which arises as

samadhi matures.


Ajahn Chah


let the teaching flow out from your own breast



Yantou and Xuefeng

were snowed in on Tortoise Mountain.

Day after day, Yantou slept while Xuefeng sat up

and meditated. On the third day, Yantou sat up

too and said, “Get some sleep. What do you

think you are — a roadside shrine?”

Xuefeng touched his chest and

said, “My heart isn’t at peace.

I can’t fool myself.”


Yantou grave a great yell.

“Don’t you know the family treasure doesn’t

come in through the gate?” he said. “Let the teaching

flow out from your own breast to cover

the sky and the earth.”


Xuefeng was suddenly enlightened

and cried out, “Today Tortoise Mountain

has finally awakened!”


John Tarrant

bring me the rhinoceros